Alphas in nature – hippopotamuses versus penguins

ArlenJ.com
March 31, 2020

The common definition of alpha male is derived from wolves studied of Dr. David Mech. He studied captive wolves and how the pecking order was determined thereof. But Mech repeated his studies decades later, except the wolves were observed in their natural habitats.

Alpha men are gifted communicators. They command attention when speaking and have the natural ability to inspire others to follow them. Most men, however, do this only on a micro-scale versus macro. The alpha understands that his first and most important responsibility is family. Financial support is a big part of it. But a man’s strength is derived from his family’s stability and prosperity. Of course he cannot have a family without first attracting a woman.

Laws of attraction

Courtship has changed in the 21st century. A 2017 study by Stanford and University of New Mexico researchers found that nearly 40% of men met their current girlfriends or wives online. Granted the coronavirus situation has many Americans locked in their homes with more time to surf online dating sites. But lasting relationships are predicated on fundamental humanity and manhood.

The popular definition of “alpha male” is functionally incorrect. An alpha man is the same today as he was 3,000 years ago. Women are attracted to men who can improve their lives both economically and emotionally. It’s somewhat cliché. But the cavemen who proved to be the best hunters and thus best providers were the most popular among women.

Humans are part of the animal kingdom. We are in the mammalia class and primate order. Humans belong to the same family as gorillas and apes. The differentiators start with the genus and species taxonomic ranks. Human attraction still has some primal aspects. Thus observing other species and their laws of attraction tell us a lot about ourselves.

Two fascinating animals show the wide differences of alphas in nature.

Father penguins

Emperor penguins are one of the most resilient species on Earth because of their living conditions. These flightless birds live in Antarctica, where temperatures frequently dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Papa penguins play a major role in child rearing not seen in many species. Female emperor penguins lay one egg at a time. It’s the father’s job to keep the egg warm via his brood pouch. Leaving the egg unprotected for even a minute could kill the embryo inside due to frigid weather. Mother penguins venture off in search for food. Meanwhile the dad starves for two months keeping the egg warm. This is why mate choice is so important. Female penguins are attracted to larger males with deeper “voices,” according to University of Melbourne researchers. In fact female emperor penguins fight over the most attractive males.

Cooperation goes beyond immediate family. Alpha penguins are parents first, tribe members second. All of them understand they need one another to survive the harsh winter elements.

Father hippopotamuses

The comparison between alpha penguins and alpha hippos is night and day. Hippos have the advantage of living in tolerable climates with abundant food sources. Penguins live in groups of thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. Hippo live in groups of about 30. One bull (male hippo) mates with all the females in the bloat. This of course leads to aggression similar to captive wolves in Dr. Mech’s original research.

Male hippos reach sexual maturity around age five. They typically do not start fighting for the right to reproduce until after age 10 when they’re bigger and stronger. Some of the fights for reproduction result in death for one of the combatants. The lead alpha earns the bloat’s respect and becomes an aggressive protector of calves and mothers. Humans are killed by hippos more frequently than lions, elephants and other animals. Hippos are very territorial and do not tolerate intruders.

Alpha brain waves in men

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